Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KM4ACK, Sep 19, 2019.
Glad to know we don't have a monopoly on nuts.
Ding Ding Ding!
I don't worry much about food. A typical everyday pantry probably has enough canned and dry food for many days or weeks especially if stretched. Even without backup electric power refrigerators and freezers will stay cold for a day or two, so that food is edible for the first couple of days at least depending on ambient temperatures. And most folks can easily afford to lose a few pounds, or even many pounds in the US!
Bottled water is great, but people tend to forget that they have at least 40 gallons, nowadays even 50 gallons of potable water easily available in their hot water tank if the tap water becomes unusable. And with some warning, bathtubs and other containers can be filled for non-potable uses or as a clean source for a filter to draw from.
They may, they may not- it depends on the disaster and the location. Maybe your family members are on the fringe of the situation and power and cell sites are up and running. Maybe it is just power that is affected and the cell site has backup power. Maybe maybe maybe... you don't know ahead of time so you build as many contingencies into your plan as possible. All my family has for communications is a cell phone... so I build into my family disaster plan a smart, thought out way to utilize that device. If it works, great! If it doesn't work, well, they have to deal with that situation and expect it. If there is no power to charge phones, then turning them on briefly once per hour to check if there is communications is the prudent thing to do rather than leave them on and run the battery down for no reason.
Look, it's great that people prepare for disasters - but the assumption that every emergency is 100% catastrophic everywhere is just unrealistic. Why don't we just assume that the entire planet will be destroyed by a giant meteor and go from there? Short of complete destruction of all life on the planet, we have to assume there is some way to survive and that there is some infrastructure available- and if not, the whole goal is to rebuild that as quickly as possible.
So if phones don't work, they eventually will- may take an hour, day, week, month, or year... but eventually they will. And if they don't we're probably dead anyway since humans don't seem to be able to live without their stupid phone.
We live about 15 miles from Cheyenne Mountain so we don't need to prep for that getting hit. If I don't get vaporized from that I've got tequila and one in the chamber. For everything else the county gave us this booklet when we moved here. At first we weren't any more prepared than having 2 weeks' worth of freeze dried foods and a water filter on hand at home.
The Waldo Canyon fire of 2012 was our impetus to be a bit more prepared. We were about a mile from the mandatory evacuation zone but decided to leave anyway. It was surreal to drive away with only camping gear and important documents - leaving a lifetime of photos and heirlooms from our parents behind. We realized if our house had burned along with most of the rest of the town that there would not be adequate resources (labor and materials) to rebuild in a timely fashion. Our humble town ranks worse than Paradise, California, on the "ready to burn" scale so we opted for a portable house - ie, travel trailer. We doubled the battery storage capacity with 225Ah worth of golf cart AGM's and charge those with 400w of solar panels. We keep it stocked with 2 weeks' worth of food, medicine, cooking gear, fire making materials, etc. We carry fishing gear and snare making materials for catching small game. We also carry paper maps, compass, an EMT reference book and our trusty U.S. Army FM 21-76 survival manual.
In winter we keep the car stocked with 7 days' worth of food, stove, water filter, extra clothes, blankets, shelter, shovel, axe, tools for car and electrical repair and 3 ways to stay warm (propane heater, chemical hand warmers and lots of fire making material).
We do a lot of boondocking/off grid camping just for fun but also to make sure we carry what we need and don't carry what we don't need. At this altitude our limiting factor is water - the trailer only holds so much fresh water and waste. Anything longer than a week in the forest would require a latrine.
We have plans on what to do if we are separated (how to meet, where to meet, when to meet); we have "no comms" plans and we have comms plans. The XYL is a ham too. We practice twice a year - one scenario assumes a few hours notice to leave and the other is "GO - NOW!". We've gotten "GO - NOW" down to 20 minutes but goodness it's a frantic 20 minutes. 45 minutes is more realistic and easier to do.
Last and certainly not least - we are active in our local and regional radio clubs. We volunteer for school and local events. We know our local police, fire and EMT folks. We socialize. We know our neighbors. We help every time we can. We practice portable radio ops more often than winter and summer field days.
Where could we improve? Food would be #1. Not many wild edibles here at anytime of year. Would be nice to make canned meats and veg so we wouldn't rely on freeze dried stuff in a bag. We make our own bread and have recently started dabbling in lacto-fermentation for food preservation.
That's it from 8,500'. Have enjoyed reading others plans and strategy.
In a natural disaster , The phones will probably work . Systems are a lot more hardened than they were 10 years ago. In a man made apocalypse , people will be to busy trying to feed themselves to bother with phones , and your disaster plan boils down to which family members are you going to eat first.
Given your location and its risks you have a highly mobile survival plan whereas mine is essentially shelter in place. Which highlights that there is no single plan that works for everyone, everywhere.
I'd say there is no single plan that works for anyone, anywhere.
Flexibility is key. The disaster you experience probably won't be the one you planned for. Plan to have options. Things will be broken that you thought were going to work, but things will probably be working that you thought would be broken.
'A mans gotta learn to be flexible.' - SSG Barnet
Food ... married to a chef & caterer == has large store of "food stuff" and knows when food spoils.
Radios ... I got radios good from 160m (maybe lower) to UHF
Power ... yup, several ways
Defense ... my wife's and my brothers Smith and Wesson
Last stand ... the North Woods, wa-a-ay north
We have instant gas hot water. But 20,000 litre in a tank. Have you looked around walmart? Plenty of people there who are carrying a couple of months supply of more of energy. They are weak and are slow and will be food for my zombie army.